No one can be a statesman who is entirely ignorant of the problems of wheat (Socrates, 470-399BC).
Why develop Wheat genomics?
Today, agriculture is facing one of its greatest challenges since it began 10 000 years ago, that of producing an ample supply of high quality food and feed for a growing world population in a sustainable and environment friendly manner. Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is the staple food for more than 35% of the people and is grown on over 95% of the wheat growing area. Its sequence holds the key to genetic improvements that will allow growers to meet the increasing demands for high quality food and feed produced in an environmentally sensitive, sustainable, and profitable manner. Further, because of its recent history, hexaploid wheat is a very good model to study polyploidy, a driving evolutionary force for more than 90% of all plants.
The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) was established by a group of plant scientists, breeders, and growers dedicated to sequencing the wheat genome to enhance our knowledge of the structure and function of the wheat genome. By gaining increased understanding of the biology of agronomically important traits and deploying state-of-the-art molecular tools, plant scientists and breeders will be able to accelerate wheat improvement to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The IWGSC is committed to ensuring that the sequence of the wheat genome and the resulting DNA-based tools are available for all to use without restriction.
The European Triticeae Genomics Initiative (ETGI) is a platform for the coordination and representation of Triticeae (Wheat, barley, rye) genomics research at the European level and serves as a link to the International research community represented by the International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI). ETGI consists of European scientists from public and private research institutes who are interested in developing complementary and coordinated research projects on Triticeae genomics to pave the way for a better understanding of crop plant systems biology and, thereby, enable substantial improvements of these essential crop species for the EU and world agriculture. ETGI partners coordinate applications for national and European research and training projects to assist in strengthening and structuring of the European Research Area (ERA). For three years beginning in 2007, ETGI networking activities are supported by the COST action "Tritigen" (FA0604) .
INRA Clermont-Ferrand plays a major role in these initiatives both in contributing to the leadership of the two consortia and by scientific projects developed within these frameworks.
The projects are developed within the framework of the competitivity cluster Cereales Vallée that supports research project in 5 areas:
The following projects are currently underway: